Well, I never thought we'd really be here, but here's a list of home healthcare things that hopefully you'll never need. Many of these are reimbursable by Medicare, but you have to get a doctors prescription and then use an approved provider. Sometimes Amazon is just easier. There doesn't appear to be a good place to get reviews, but Amazon user ratings seemd decently honest. Heres a list:
Invacare seems to get the most ratings on Amazon. Their BED9 package has it all, but BED2-1033 is HCPCS with the same stuff. But as Linda told us, the best thing to do is to try by renting.
There are also an amazing number of these things on Craig's List. Sadly, hospital beds aren't used for a long time so there are plenty of used ones with lots of life left in them.
There seem to be three flavors:
- semi-electric where the front and back go down, but you need a crank to raise the whole thing up and down. Typical cost is $700 or so
- full electric where there is a motor for that. Typically $750-1000
- bariatric. For people weighing over 450 pounds (sadly lots of these). These are in the $2-3K range
Invacare and Medline seem like the main vendors and have pretty good ratings on Amazon.
As an aside, you can also get these paid for by Medicare, but this requires a doctors visit and not surprisingly costs the government an incredible amount ($250/month for a year!).
Finally, if you can't find anything on Craig's List, then there is also the option to rent. These in our area are $250/month (?!) with a $160 setup charge.
Assembling these things are is a bit of a chore. The partial disassembled one we got has a set of wires that allow the legs to move up and down. The trick is that to get them into their points, you need to manually pull so the leg's come up and the slack is there to get it into the holders. Not easy.
Hospital Bed Mattresses
These hospital beds are 36"x80" so they require a Twin Extra Large mattress. They are special order and need to be flexible. You can get these as el cheapo systems for $120 on Amazon, but there seem to be complaints about comfort. One easy recommendation is to use a futon ($240 or so for an Twin XL). These are flexible but have support. Not a bad option.
Lifts and Wheelchairs
We did get one, but it isn't clear how useful it is in practice. Seems much easier to have a adjustable height bed and then have a wheelchair with a removable arm, so you can scoot people over.